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经济学人:计算机间谍活动 我被间谍给黑了

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Computerised espionage

计算机间谍活动
The spy who hacked me
我被间谍给黑了
Malicious computer code is making the spook's job easier than ever
恶意计算机编码使间谍活动比以前更容易
IT IS 30 years since William Gibson, an American-Canadian author, wrote “Neuromancer”, in which he coined the term “cyberspace” and imagined a future of hackers for hire and giant corporations raiding each other's computer systems in search of secrets. He was right about the direction of travel, but wrong about some of the details. For it is governments, not corporations or anti-social teenagers, who have become the world's best hackers.
美籍加拿大作家威廉·吉布森的著作《神经漫游者》的问世距今已有30年。在此书中,威廉提出“网络空间”一词,并勾勒出未来大型公司雇佣黑客潜入竞争对手的电脑系统窃取机密的场景。但他只预言中了大致的方向,细节上有很大的出入。如今,政府成为世上最厉害的黑客,而非大型公司或反社会青年。

The latest example came on November 23rd, when Symantec, an American antivirus firm, announced the discovery of a piece of software called Regin, which it had found lurking on computers in Russia, Saudi Arabia and several other countries, sniffing for secrets. Its sophistication and stealth led Symantec to conclude that it must have been written by a nation-state.

比如,美国杀毒软件公司---诺顿杀毒于11月23日宣布发现了一种名为“雷金”的病毒软件。该软件潜伏在俄罗斯、沙特阿拉伯和其他国家的电脑上窃取机密。根据其复杂性和机密性,诺顿杀毒断定,此病毒软件一定是由某国政府编写。
Regin (the arbitrarily chosen name comes from a text string found in the bug's innards) is only the latest in a long line of government-sponsored malware (see table). The most famous is Stuxnet, discovered in 2010, which was designed, almost certainly by America and Israel, to hijack industrial-control systems. It was deployed against Iran's nuclear programme, and destroyed centrifuges that were being used to enrich uranium. Unlike the vast surveillance dragnets revealed by Edward Snowden, a former American contractor who leaked thousands of secret documents in 2013, these computerised bugs are tailored and aimed at defined targets.
“雷金”(该名字来源于病毒内部的文本字符串)只是由政府赞助的恶意程序的冰山一角。最有名的病毒是2001年发现的震网,该病毒极有可能由美国和以色列政府编写,针对工业控制系统,攻击伊朗核计划,破坏用于铀浓缩的离心器。2003年,一名美国承包商泄露了上千份机密文件,这是针对特定目标发生的有目的性的电脑故障,不同于爱德华·斯诺登揭露的大范围拉网式监控。
The sort of direct sabotage carried out by Stuxnet is unusual. Most government malware (or at least, most that security researchers know about) seems to be for information-gathering. In 2006, for instance, it emerged that someone had hacked electronic equipment belonging to Vodafone's Greek subsidiary and listened to the mobile-phone conversations of the Greek cabinet. But such attacks can still do damage: Regin's most common targets were individuals and small businesses, but telecoms firms, energy companies and airlines were affected, too.
但像震网一样能造成直接伤害的恶意软件并不常见。大多数政府支持(或至少,大多数安全研究员知晓)的恶意软件似乎只是为了窃取信息。比如,2006年,有人黑了沃达丰希腊子公司的电子设备,并窃听电话通话。但此类攻击依然具有破坏性:雷金的目标大多是个人和小公司,但电信公司、能源公司和航空公司也牵扯其中。
Working out who has created a piece of malware is not easy. Computer code has no nationality. Programmers sometimes leave hints, or use suggestive phrases, but these are not proof. The targets can provide clues, as can comparisons with known malware. DarkHotel, which targets corporate executives and other bigwigs by hijacking hotel Wi-Fi systems and which was discovered only weeks before Regin, has been tentatively pinned on South Korea. Korean characters, and a reference to a known South Korean coder, were found in its code. The targets included people from Taiwan, Japan, China—and a few from America, South Korea's most important ally.
要查出恶意程序的制造者可不是一件容易事儿。电脑编码无国界。有时,程序员会留下线索或使用暗示语,但这并不能证明什么。受害目标能够提供线索,也可以与已知的恶意程序相比较。比雷金早几周发现的“暗黑宾馆”是一款通过黑进旅馆Wi-Fi系统,攻击公司高管及其他权贵人物的恶意软件。有迹象表明此软件来源于韩国,因为在软件代码中发现了韩文和韩文编码器。此软件的目标包括台湾人、日本人、中国人和少数美国人,尽管美国是韩国的最重要盟友。
There are similar clues in Regin. Symantec says Regin's most frequent targets were computers in Russia, which accounted for 28% of the total, and Saudi Arabia, which made up 24%. But the full list includes countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Ireland and Mexico. One of Regin's modules is called “LEGSPIN”, a cricketing term. And experts say that it seems very similar to malware used in an attack on Belgacom, a Belgian telecoms firm, in which the British are the chief suspects. (Government Communications Headquarters, Britain's electronic-spying agency, refused to comment.) But such clues may be designed to mislead: when the Russians began their computerised espionage, they would often try to make it seem as if the software was Chinese. “They hid behind China's notoriety,” says Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure, a Finnish computer-security firm.
雷金也是如此。赛门铁克公司称,雷金的主要目标是俄罗斯的电脑用户,占总数的28%,还有沙特阿拉伯,占总数的24%。但是攻击清单上也包括阿富汗、爱尔兰和墨西哥。雷金的其中一个模块名为右旋球(板球术语)。专家称,攻击比利时电信公司的恶意软件也类似如此,而英国是最大的嫌疑。但英国电子间谍机构—政府通信总部拒绝承认。但此类线索也许会产生误导:当俄罗斯利用计算机进行间谍活动时,他们可能会伪装,让别人误以为是中国软件。芬兰计算机安全公司芬杀客的米克·席博尼说,“这样一来,中国变得臭名昭著,而他们躲在后面坐享其成。”
Such deniability is one attraction of computerised espionage. Another is that modern software is so complex that it is riddled with security holes, most of which can be exploited from a safe distance. Once one is found, data can easily and cheaply be smuggled out and sent round the world.
这种推诿是计算机间谍活动的吸引力之一。另外一个就是,现代软件很复杂,且充斥着安全漏洞。而这些漏洞大多都可以远程操控,一旦被发现其中一个,数据就会很轻易地泄露出去,并散播到世界各地。
This means that the big powers are not the only cyber-spies. The cutting-edge stuff is done by America, China and Russia, says Mr Hypponen, but F-secure thinks Pakistan, North Korea and some African countries are doing it, too. The low cost means that governments and firms can expect to suffer from more and more of it. Some are already taking drastic measures: Russia has ordered 20 typewriters, reportedly because of the vulnerability of computers. To paraphrase Mr Gibson: it seems that the future is already here, and it is becoming ever more evenly distributed.
这意味着,参与网络间谍的不仅仅是大国。米克·席博尼说,芬杀客公司认为,除了美国、中国和俄罗斯这些尖端技术大国,巴基斯坦、朝鲜和一些非洲国家在进行网络间谍活动。低成本意味着政府和公司承担着更多的费用。一些国家已经采取了严厉的措施:俄罗斯订购了20台打字机,据说是因为计算机容易出现漏洞。用吉布森先生的话来结尾:未来似乎触手可及,且越来越均匀分布。译者:戴秀平 校对:江虹蕾

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evenly ['i:vənli]

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adj. 符合逻辑的,逻辑上的,有推理能力的

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n. 老练,精明,复杂,精密,有教养,诡辩,强词夺理

 
spy [spai]

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n. 间谍,侦探,侦察
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n. 易受攻击,弱点,[计]漏洞

 
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